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The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, October 29, 1922, SUNDAY MORNING, Image 40

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026749/1922-10-29/ed-1/seq-40/

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THE TIMES SHOW CRITIC
GOES TO THE PLAT, BUT
. NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE
By HAROLD PHILLIPS.
I N interesting lament, that of Percy Hammond'a a week ago
J\ on the rise and fall ot the hounded gentry known aa dra
matic critics.
"It used to be," wrote Hammond in the New York Tribuna,
??that dramatic reviewers and critica were important to the actors
and impresarios. Though hated, perhaps, they were careaaed
and a line from them to any producer would have been a com
mand. Now it is different One word from a reviewer and in
difference if not hostility would ensua. Their every booat la a
knock."
A plea from a Mage aspirant for Hammond's influence inspired
that sagacious critic's obsesrvations and he bolsters his belief that
dramatic reviewers are on a
parity with moles in the pro
ducer-manager's eye by re
counting how, a few evenings
previously, George Jean Nathan,
critic for The Smart Set, was
ejected from the Century Roof
by Morris Gest, who was apo
plectic at the thought that
Nathan would even dare to
enter his theater after the
things he had said about Mr.
Gest and Mr. Gest's plays.
? ? ?
npHE thought persists with
me that some of our local
managers must have read the
Hammond admission of zero in
influence and, upon reading It,
reflected thus:
"Here, now, this can't go on.
We're too affable here in Stam
ford, Conn.?or we mean
Washington. Up in New York
a dramatic reviewer is a dud
and a varmint and is so classi
fied. Let the rule prevail
here."
And so Sunday night this re
viewer ejected himself from
two of our leading theaters be
cause the embargo on play re
porters prevailed with hostility
and intent firm and gusto. So
It seemed.
At the Belasco Theater, a
scene-shiiter, doing emergency
duty aa a box office man, turned
us away bocause we were with
out passport, affidavits of iden
tity, or such other impedimenta
as is usually carried by
voyageurs in out-of-the-way
reaches, Tolerantly and pater
nally he urged us to go, and come
back later with credentials from
parsons favorably known to him,
"Mr. La Motte, for instance,"
and, though he 'didn't say it, he
left the inference that a tele
gram from Lee or Jake Shubert
would fix it.
Now one of the interesting
traditions about the Belasco
Theater is Mr. LaMotte's of
fice. It is somewhere in the
building, but where few people
know. Of course, the rumor
about its being reached through
? subterranean passage is bosh.
Alio pure guff about a secret
button on the third floor which
opens a door panel behind a pic
ture on the first floor in back
of the elevator. Some place in
that great ponderous, and, on
Sunday night, forbidding struc
ture there is an office, and Mr.
LaMotte sits in it, but we didn't
find it.
bo, off we sped into the night,
determined about the businesa of
ae?ing a show.
? ? ?
THE next on tha R alto,
or, as the bus barkers in
form aightseera, "Washington's C/A/L SCOTT
great white way," was the New ? W/TH
President Without great to do THE A)AH OH THEJAlCOMf
Continued an Page ?) wGRAACM
CHflALCS
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. WESLEY 3AAAY
MGS TO A/C//ES "
riOOAES
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t//YY ARflSTAO/yGr
/97- TH? STAA/Y0
WHY THE WORDY FRENCH .
AY NOW? AMERICA Nt
lONGER HAS TO RELY ON II
By ALAN DALE.
EVERY time I see adaptation from the French I can scarcely
realize t at time vaa wiien we positively relied upon them
banked upon them and had no other supply to fall back upon
Marag rs v ent abroad each summer and brorght back ti e later
thing in Parisian styles, called in some carpenter to delete th(
objecti nable and "Americanize" the rest and then offered it for ou
delettation. It was that or nothing So?It was that!
Augvst? Filon had this to say about the translation and adaptn
tion of French plays: "It would seem t at there was no gettin
along without''us Franc.i between 1350 and 1S66. We were tran'
lated and adapted in every form.
"Our melodrama? ???ere t-. ansplrnted b'dily: our cmedie- wer
coar ened and e-a~?rerafed into
OA AAA/9 %
YALSEY
? M
TV Art TO
THE A/6HT
PAES/OE/YT
CA/T5/ HO.
W/TJt &*H/JHAfr*? KEfTHS
VZi W/TH
The 6>?*r*0/>f HO/A/9SH
ALY//E or KHg *?LA6C(k
ULAI EE AMP WALLACE MM.
" THE OHOJTAAEMEl"
MLACE
AT /IE TAQAfL/TH/Yi.
i
farce*; sometimes even, that
nothing might be lost, our
operai were "round down lntc
play*. Second-rate pieces wer?
honored with two or three
succeaaive adaptations, and ^
dramas wh'ch had liv~d a brief
hour at the Boulevard du Crime
in En g'and became classics
There ia a tr??d'-tlon *that the J
'Prtnoesa >*ai a tame translator
under lock an-* Vov who turned
French ?n*o En**l'sv without
respite. ' i* chain neeer loosened
nor his h-in^er sati fed until
his task, for tve time being,
?hou!d he copipjete."
French plays y*erp e'en imi
tated in E^glind.. and then
brongvt to this country hy avid
man a-'era. Listen a*a'n to
Filon: "The way in which the
English need to imitate our
nieces half a century a"0 re
sembled the hasty nroc-d'ine of
a brn^ of tvieve* plundering a
?^ouse, doin?? tb?ir utmost, but
atrainst time and ?it,,ont method,
and in consequence, burdening
themselves with 'Worthless nick
nacks and overlooking jewels of
oric.s.t When the LonHon man
a~er scame to Pari* nost-hasto,
rying with each nthe- for our
manuacr'pta and 'es rtimr tcj
every kind of dod^e to secure
'he prize, it n-as sometimes but
the potentiality of becoming
bankrupt tvat was thus held up.
as it were, to auction."
? ? ?
GRACE OEOROE'8 adaptation
of the French drama "Aimer,'
which sho saw abroad, seems mo.
amusingly out of date in our lant'
It Is a morbid analysis of "love'
on the part of a tired woman wltt
a husband and a friend. There ar
Just three of them.
Thf y wander over the statre. si
on all the furniture and discus
their tiresome hearts until ever
inflection of the love theme ha
b*en exhausted. The French pla>
wright always manages to nak
you believe that there is nothln
vise In life. They threah out th
entire matter. First, there ar
scenes with the woman arW he:
husband, and then hubby obliging J
ly leaves the stage to*- simila
scenes botween the woman and th
friend. They talk, and they talk!
They are all throe quite miserable
and you gather that they'd hat.
to be happy even if they could
They are gluttons for punishment
They torture their souls. The:
seem to lack time to take their
ineals. You can't imagine then
sitting down to poached eggs am'
coffee. It would be- indecent tr
'hink of them forgetting theli
"love."
The French heroine usually ms
??tea one man so that she can "love"
another. It is a cu e little wa
she has, and she has never grown
out of It. The heroines of othef j
nations have ahowh the falsity of
the French heroine's view of life,
but ahe has n-ver paid the sllghteat
(Continued on Page 14

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